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Properties (Oxford Readings in Philosophy) Paperback – May 8, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0198751762 ISBN-10: 0198751761

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Readings in Philosophy
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 8, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198751761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198751762
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

D. H. Mellor is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Darwin College. His books include The Facts of Causation (1995), Matters of Metaphysics (1991), and Real Time (1981). Alex Oliver is University Assistant Lecturer in Philosophy at Cambridge University, and Fellow of and Director of Studies in Philosophy at Queens College, Cambridge. He was previously Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
The essays in this topical collection provide a thorough discussion of that question. Drawn mostly from contemporary philosophy, the collection nevertheless begins a bit further back: with Gottlob Frege's "Function and Concept," two contributions from Bertrand Russell, and F.P. Ramsey's "Universals."

More recent selections are included from W.V.O. Quine ("On What There Is"), Frank Jackson, Michael Devitt, D.M. Armstrong, Donald C. Williams, Keith Campbell, Chris Daly, David Lewis, Sydney Shoemaker, and co-editor D.H. Mellor.

The volume will be of special interest to readers looking for sources on the problem of universals. Naturally each contribution deals with the problem to some extent, but particularly interesting is an exchange between Michael Devitt and D.M. Armstrong. Nominalists and realists sometimes talk past each other about this problem, and sure enough, much of the exchange between Devitt and Armstrong has to do with (a) why nominalists don't think there really _is_ a "problem" of universals and (b) why realists think nominalists are being all but willfully blind.

In a spirited but cheerfully sporting verbal tennis match, Devitt responds to Armstrong's complaints (in _Universals and Scientific Realism_) about "ostrich nominalism" by attacking "mirage realism" instead. Armstrong offers a rejoinder which he thinks improves on his earlier discussion. The two part friends, with no injuries.

There is also good discussion on trope theory and "abstract particulars," as one might expect from the inclusion of essays by Williams, Campbell, and Daly. This is an excellent collection both overall and in detail.

It will be of interest to readers of D.M.
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